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ACC Roundup - Big Snowy Saturday

Virginia was forced to postpone the Syracuse game, but everyone else is on.

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With snowfall predicted to be between 19-31 inches, it's no surprise that the Virginia-Syracuse game is canceled. It's probably the first time in a long time that Syracuse has seen a game canceled for snow. Kind of ironic given the snow that upstate New York typically sees.

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That game has been moved to Sunday, and that may depend on how bad things still are.  Stay tuned.

As for the rest, BC goes to Notre Dame for an All-Catholic matchup, Wake treks down to sunny Miami to try to get things back on track, Duke and State tangle in Raleigh, Pitt visits Tallahassee and Louisville visits Hotlanta to take on the Yellow Jackets.

All of these games are interesting and most compelling.

Can BC take advantage of Notre Dame's occasional lapses in concentration? Can Wake shake off its recent weak play against Miami, where Jim Larranaga has a program that likes to kick you hard? Pitt takes on an athletic but young FSU - can the Seminoles pull together a brilliant offensive performance to offset Pitt's defensive toughness?

Great questions.

Louisville's Rick Pitino says that his team is into the "roller coaster" part of the schedule and compares it to the prime of the old Big East.

As we've discussed before though, the old Big East had a number of patsies and virtually guaranteed wins. That's certainly not the case in the ACC these days. Only BC is truly weak. Georgia Tech could certainly take down the Cardinals - and any other team in the ACC.

What's interesting now is seeing how everyone responds to the stress and pressure of either being down in the standings or trying to make a run to an NCAA bid.

As of today, UNC would certainly be in the field, as would Louisville, Virginia, Duke and Miami and probably Notre Dame.

Clemson has a strong argument at just 12-7. Pitt's schedule works against it but still, the Panthers are 15-3. And Syracuse is suddenly surging.

Once you get past those, you see Virginia Tech, a team which is wildly exceeding expectations but not quite certain of a bid (somewhere Seth Greenberg is giggling madly), FSU, Georgia Tech, NC State and Wake Forest.

All of those teams are in play for at least an NIT slot. Only rebuilding BC has no post-season hopes, other than the very unlikely path through the ACC Tournament.

Incidentally, in the SB bracket projection listed above, Duke is #5 in the West, where Maryland would lurk at the #2 seed. However, in that scenario, Maryland would also start play in Raleigh at State's PNC Arena, where they'd most likely find a lot of hostility from local ACC fans.

Projections are fun but pretty meaningless. We'll have to wait and see.

It's kind of been overlooked, but State added a player to its roster, and it's a damn good one: Dennis Smith has enrolled early.

Smith is rehabbing from an ACL injury of course and says he's at about "80 percent."

He won't play this year, but he's an extraordinary defender and an 80 percent defender in practice will be a huge asset for this team, and not least of all Cat Barber, Maverick Rowan and Terry Henderson, all of whom will have to raise their level of play. We're not sure when he can practice 100%, but he's already making an impact. There's no coasting when you have a guy like that.

Syracuse had a guy like that once. He became a permanent part of life in Syracuse and a greatly beloved figure.

Now, suffering from a brain tumor, Pearl Washington is fighting for his life. His adopted town has rallied around him. Syracuse fans: we salute you for what you are doing for your guy.